Transformations in Matter and Energy Carbon TIME is an NSF-funded partnership led by Michigan State University
Activity 1.2 - Expressing Ideas and Questions about Ethanol Burning (40 min)
Target Student Performance
Students ask and record specific questions about changes in matter and energy in response to the unit driving question: What happens when ethanol burns?
Resources You Provide
- sticky notes (1 per student)
- ethanol, 95% (10-15 ml)
- water (10-15 ml)
- lighter (1)
- Petri dish, glass (1)
- Petri dish, plastic (1)
- 1.2 Expressing Ideas and Questions Tool for Ethanol Burning
- 1.2 Assessing the Expressing Ideas Tool for Ethanol Burning
- 1.2 Expressing Ideas and Questions about Ethanol Burning PPT
- 1.2 Systems and Scale Storyline Reading: Learning from the Work of Elizabeth Fulhame (1 per student)
- Carbon TIME Burning Ethanol and Water Demonstration Video
- Questions, Connections, Questions Student Reading Strategy
- Learning Tracking Tool for Systems and Scale (1 per student)
- Assessing the Learning Tracking Tool for Systems and Scale
- (Optional) Big Idea Probe: Fill 'Er Up (1 per student)
- (Optional) Assessing the Big Idea Probe: Fill 'Er Up
Print one copy of the Big Idea Probe: Fill 'Er Up and the 1.2 Systems and Scale Storyline Reading: Learning from the Work of Elizabeth Fulhame for each student. Prepare a computer and projector to display the presentation.
Use the student responses to the class discussions and also their ideas on the 1.2 Expressing Ideas and Questions Tool for Ethanol Burning, as well as the 1.2 Assessing the Expressing Ideas Tool for Ethanol Burning to assess their thinking at the beginning of the unit. By the end of the unit, students should be able to explain that ethanol is an organic material and water is inorganic. For now, listen to students’ ideas, with attention to how they describe matter and energy. In particular, suggestions that ethanol is “flammable” or “a fuel” are ideas that you will be able to build on. It will be unusual at this point for students to be able to identify properties that predict or explain why some materials are flammable and others or not (for instance, that flammable materials largely originated in living things—recently or millions of years ago—or specific chemical properties of flammable materials). They will learn to do this in this unit.